A video showing officers shooting at a truck and its passengers emerged on social media Saturday.
The police in Ogun State have told PREMIUM TIMES that an Internet video showing officers shooting at a truck and those inside it was a case of car theft.
The video was taken around Shagamu and shared on Twitter Monday afternoon, with the poster saying he “had a crazy morning” and wondering why the police had to fire their target at such a close range.
The footage, about 19 seconds, shows a white police Toyota Hilux van shooting at the tyres of a heavy duty vehicle loaded with goods.
The officers then caught up with the truck and pulled up by the driver’s side and fired a shot into the truck with an AK47 rifle.
Some men in a vehicle driving a few metres from behind captured the moment, which abruptly ended at the 19-second mark.
But no one died during the encounter, Ogun police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, told PREMIUM TIMES Saturday night.
Mr. Oyeyemi said the heavy duty truck was hijacked with its content and the police were immediately notified of the theft.
“Two suspects in the vehicle have been taken to custody by the police in Shagamu,” Mr. Oyeyemi said.
He told PREMIUM TIMES that he could not immediately provide the names and other particulars of the suspects.
Segun Awosanya, a campaigner for police reform who had earlier condemned the conduct of the police in the video, expressed skepticism about the police’s version of the incident Saturday night.
“The passengers might not have hijacked the truck, it could just be that he refused to bribe them at a checkpoint and they decided to move against him,” Mr. Awosanya told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Saturday night.
“Even if the passengers were robbers, the police have already shot their tires demobilised their vehicle, so they were going nowhere.
“So why fire directly at the passengers rather than tactically arrest them as professional police officers are trained to do?” Mr. Awosanya said.
The police maintained that the suspects were not injured in any way, adding that more investigations would be conducted before they would be charged to court.